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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, everyone. I need to do some extensive work under my 67 vert. One or more of the floor pan support frames have rusted out so I need to remove the old and install (weld) the new. I also have to patch many holes in my floor to include replacing two or more complete pans. The exhaust and drive shaft need to be dropped to do this and on and on... here's where I need help.

First of all... with most of my floor rusted out... can I jack up the car using the jack points on the frame to get it high enough to work under it? I'm worried that because the floor of the car is in such bad shape and that being a convertible she get's a lot of her structural integrity from the floor and that if I begin to jack her up from say just behind the drivers side wheel that the frame may bend. Is this something for me to worry about or should I be OK? I believe the frame is in good shape. There is rust there but it looks like it's only surface rust... the frame looks solid. Perhaps I need to take her up slowly? Maybe a bit at a time on the four corners of the car?

My next question has to deal with the best way to get her high enough to SAFELY work on her from underneath. Are jack stands and bumper jacks enough? I'm a bit leery getting under her with only jacks keeping her airborne. I'm working to restore a classic... not get killed by one!

I'm open to any suggestions but of course I have a tight budget.

One idea I had was maybe drive her up on two parallel sets of railroad ties. I can buy them locally for $10 US per tie. If I buy eight of them I can stack them two high. Two high would be about 14" off of the ground. Then all I have to do is find some ramps and drive her up on top of the ties. I can even add supports to the ties so they do not move. Or maybe just jack her up to the height of the ties. In any case, the RR ties would be strong enough to hold her up and I can do what I need underneath... just a thought.

I'm sure these are age old questions but I would appreciate any input here... :yes:

Bob
 

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Hello Bob, I am doing a frame off resto. myself and I been where you are but I just can't seem to get all of these pics. on line fast enough. This is what I did to get the frame high enough SAFELY. I used high rated jack stands not the one's you get from Wal-Mart and treated 4 X 6's cut a little wider than the foot of the jack stands around 8 to 12" . Jack the car up as far as you can, place the jack stand in the lowest position on top of the cut 4 X 6's- usually 2 side by side - then lower the jack, place the jack on other 4 x 6's to support the jack for the next lift. Jack until you get room to place another layer of cut 4 x6's under the jack stand but this time stack those pieces 90* opposite of the first layer. Then from there on you can use the ratchet on the jack stands to get the height you want. Just remember do one layer around the car at one time before you start the next one. I bought (2) 2X6X8's from Home Depot to get the height I need plus I think you will come out cheaper than useing RR ties. Hope this helps and keep us updated. One final thing is to shake the car before you get under there, the worst that can happen then is you start over.
 

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You will need 4 jack stands, positioned as shown in the shop manual.

On my 64 it looks like this:




I was pretty scared doing this the first time. It seemed to me that the recommend points were too close to the center, and therefore, easy to tip. However it is solid and not going anywhere. I still give the car a good 'test shove' to make sure everything is solid before I go under. I would recommend using jack stands that are over-rated for the need. I use jack stands that are rated at 3 tons each. So any one jack stand could easily support the entire car's weight (overkill, but it does give some comfort when you go under ;) ). Also a wide stable base is a good idea, especially when lifting higher, like I did to install my transmission.




 

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Been under my cars many times and have done floors as well. Yes you should have concerns about doing it right. Here are some good tips after doing it a lot.

NEVER use cinder blocks or anything like bricks to support your car, even under jack stands. I've seen a lot of photos with cars on cinder blocks and this is very dangerous.

- You'll want to get the car pretty high so you'll need a good hydraulic floor jack and heavy duty jacks stands. If you dont' have them buy or borrow. A good hydaulic jack is at the least a 3 ton unit. Craftsman usually has good sales on combinations with a 3 ton jack, stands and creeper for @ $100: http://www.craftsman.com/shc/s/p_10155_12602_00950188000P

- To do floor pans you want the car to be sitting on the suspension, not the frame so you'll want to set the front tires on ramps or stacks of wide planks. If you try to put jack stands under the front control arms, the stands will usually tilt out as the car comes down with the arc of the control arm> not good.

- For the rear you could put jack stands under the axle tubes or set the car on the tires the same as the front. Carefully place the jack under the pumpkin to raise the car, making sure you don't catch the cover with the lip of the jack base.

- When you jack the car up, try to keep the front casters on the floor jack facing the front direction of the car so the jack can roll as the car gets raised; this is even more important when lowering the car when on jackstands. If you put the car on blocks under the tires it's not so much of a concern but when the car is sitting jack stands you don't want the stands to tip.

All in all it's not dangerous as long as you pay attention and make sure you're on a level surface. Railroad ties may prove to be cumbersome as they are so long.

Good luck with your project!
 

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As stated the car must be supported. I would look on line for a free rotiserie plan with bill of materials and drawings and then weld one up from scrap steel (check with a local salvage yard for structural steel and DOM tubing sold as scrap. You can buy it from them for the price they paid or a lttle more (I just drive in with scrap iron and drop off what I don't want and pick up what I do want and then drive out across the scales. I generally drop off more than I take out so there is no problem in accounting they just pay me for less than a full load). This way you get your steel cheap and you can practice your welding. Once you are threw with the rotiserie you can sell it to somebody else who needs one and you will get more than the scrap metal price for the steel you have in it

Don't forget while you are in the scrap yard to buy more light tubing to weld into all of your openings before you take the body off the frame to keep everything square. You will find it is lot easier to do a good job of controling your penetration and heat when working comfortably with a body on a rotiserie than upside down hanging from your knees.

Just my opinion.

Big Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My Solution to Working Under my Chevy

OK.. this is what I've done and thought I'd share it with everyone. I feel very safe working under her with these wooden ramps that I made. Floor to bottom of frame: 25"

Got my first real look under her today... not nearly as bad as I was expecting!!!

I can provide more details about these ramps if anyone is interested.

Bob
 

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Are your wood boards secured togather with screws ,nails or just sitting on top of one another?
 

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Looks pretty solid but I would block all the wheels to keep it from rolling. Never know when someone could knock it out of park.
 
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